There is a beautiful song by the Dixie Chicks “Taking the Long Way Around” that is about not following the proscribed path. It’s a wonderful song about following your dreams and living life your own way. My own life does not match the lyrics of the song. I settled down and and “moved into the zip code where my parents lived.” This weekend I revisited that song as I found myself unable to drive home the usual way because of a road blockage. My “long way around” was the literal drive up the canyon and around. I wasn’t thrilled to have to drive 25 miles instead of 7 home but the silver lining is enjoying this song again! The video even has photos that look like our Canyon.
It’s a luxury to watch the hummingbirds visit my beautiful garden. I can only hope that they take time to admire the beauty while they go about their busy day.
I am in awe of nature and our planet’s relationship to the moon. I was lucky enough to photograph the full moon from 5000 miles away from home in May. While the photos appear similar, the experience is different.
There is so much beauty in the full moon. Watching it rise, change colors, sometimes wearing a glowing aura, sometimes viewing it between the trees or perched next to Jupiter it’s both a new experience and a comforting reminder of the month before.
Taking the time to view it, record it and share it has given me renewed appreciation.
These days, the views I usually see are unadulterated nature. I live in the forest on a dirt road now. In my previous life of cityscapes, the beauty of nature was often juxtaposed with a building, a billboard or other man made artifice. Traveling in European cities earlier this month, I was again appreciating the beauty of colors and nature against the backdrop of technology and progress. Either way, it’s spectacular!
The aspens have been quietly waiting for spring to return. Waiting for their time to recapture our attention. After mourning the shedding of their fall foliage in October, we are now graced with another season of beauty. All winter, they allowed the pines center stage. And now, another lovely sign of spring; their light green buds and leaves are adding to the magnificence of mountain life.
When you live in the Rocky Mountains snow can come at times most people wouldn’t believe. Thirty inches of snow on May 18 is as dramatic as it sounds. Even more so when it is the wet, heavy kind that bends trees and turns into the consistency of cement on the driveway where the tall pines keep it from melting. The loss of power for over 24 hours came with it.
I know many people don’t understand the advantages of a late May storm. So let me explain. First of all, its exquisite. The snow on trees and mountain peaks is a sight not to be taken for granted. The resourcefulness required when no electricity also means no water makes us stronger. We enjoyed uninterrupted conversation and laughs. The other piece of a May storm that everyone can appreciate: it melts away quickly.
Two things I think about often are friendship and writing. For me, they are both important and an integral part of each day.
Since moving 1000 miles from an incredible group of friends, I’ve been working on nurturing long-distance and new friendships and writing fiction; for me they have become intertwined. I’m grateful for friends who support my writing, for friends who keep in touch by writing in various forms and for the joy I discover through writing.
As a fiction writer, I’ve created characters that are like friends. No, I’m not crazy. What I mean is they are fully formed people who come to mind in different situations I encounter. This is part of my creative process and it’s comforting, just like a good friend.
I’ve been waiting to revise until I can truly look at my book as a reader and not a writer. The process of going back and forth between being a writer and being a reader is important work and challenging. My beta readers have been valuable in the writing process and there have been revisions along the way already. This is a big step; taking from the beginning.
I read 2 quotes that resonate with me. Neil Gaiman said “… when you’re ready, pick it up and read it as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer.”
The other, by Don Roff, which is the inspiration for the picture, “When you print out your manuscript and read it, marking up with a pen, it sometimes feels like a criminal returning to the scene of the crime.”
- My manuscript is printed.
- My eyes are ready.
- My color-coded pens are lined up.
Wish me luck!
“I miss my friends!” Yesterday I stopped by a store on Pearl Street that reminded me of a store from my days living in Glencoe. I asked the woman helping me if they were a franchise because I remembered a store “Shoefly” with the same logo. She said, “No, that was us! We moved here ten years ago.” Small World! Then I was talking with her husband and mentioned our North Shore/Chicago connection. His first words when talking about leaving Chicago: “I miss my friends.” YES! Which are the same words I’ve said so many times whenever anyone asks me what I miss about moving. And a few restaurants, We agreed we miss those too.
Earth Day and what it represents has always been important to me. My love of flora and fauna goes back to my earliest memories. I have both learned and taught about the interdependent web of life on our planet.
Living in the Rocky Mountains has allowed me an even better vantage for admiring the beauty of Mother Earth, the moon, stars and other planets in our solar system. I’m able to see more stars than ever before. I’ve watched Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Mars dance above the mountain peaks. And now, I have a new word with which to describe the amazing feeling of my new experiences.